Endless knot

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One common form of the Endless Knot
More decorative
More complex form seen on ca. 400-year-old Chinese lacquerware dish.
Endless Knot in a Burmese Pali Manuscript

The endless knot or eternal knot (Sanskrit: śrīvatsa; simplified Chinese: 盘长结; traditional Chinese: 盤長結; pinyin: pánzhǎng jié; Tibetan དཔལ་བེའུ། dpal be'u; Mongolian Түмэн өлзий) is a symbolic knot and one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. It is an important symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. It is an important cultural marker in places significantly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Kalmykia, and Buryatia. It is also found in Celtic and Chinese symbolism.

History[edit]

The endless knot symbol appears on clay tablets from the Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BC),[1] and the same symbol also appears on a historic era inscription.[2]

Interpretations[edit]

Buddhism[edit]

Various Buddhist interpretations of the symbol are:

Hinduism[edit]

In Hinduism, Srivatsa mentioned as 'connected to shree', i.e the goddess Lakshmi. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where his consort Lakshmi resides. According to the Vishnu purana, the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, will bear the Shrivatsa mark on his chest. It is one of the names of Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranamam. Srivatsa is considered to be auspicious symbol in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Jainism[edit]

In Jainism it is one of the eight auspicious items, an asthamangala, however found only in the Svetambara sect. It is often found marking the chests of the 24 Saints, the tirthankaras. It is more commonly referred to as the Shrivatsa.

Other uses[edit]

See 74 knot for decorations or symbols in other cultures which are topologically equivalent to the interlaced form of the simplest version of the Buddhist endless knot.[3]

A stylized version of the endless knot is also used as the logo of China Unicom.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Beer, Robert (2003). The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols (PDF). Serindia Publications. p. 11. ISBN 1-59030-100-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ Danino, Michel (2010). Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0143068648.
  3. ^ "7_4", The Knot Atlas.

External links[edit]